Scriberr Condemns Violence Against Journalists Following Attack Against Co-Founder
Scriberr’s co-founder and field reporter, Kalen D’Almeida, was attacked on June 14 while reporting in Seattle’s Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) at approximately 1:50 a.m. The zone had been named a “police-free” occupation, and footage captured by D’Almeida showed the various aspects of its community coming together to support one another.
While CHAZ remained relatively peaceful during the day and reports of a “festival-like” vibe permeated the six-block zone, a select number of groups lurked the streets after sunset. According to D’Almeida, a few of these groups were ANTIFA, John Brown Gun Club, and alleged “warlord” rapper Raz Simone and his followers.
“I was sitting on a couch 40 yards away filming Raz Simone in case anything interesting happened while he was out,” D’Almeida said. There had been multiple reports the previous nights of Simone patrolling the zone with a gun harnessed on his leg.
While Simone insisted his purpose was a peaceful protest and nothing else, multiple scuffles occurred within his group that was settled through force.
According to D’Almeida and multiple field reporters on the scene, a few of Simone’s friends huddled in a circle looking at something on a cell phone. When they spotted D’Almeida, they began stalking him.
“Give me your phone, show me what’s on your phone, or I’m going to knock you the f*ck out,” one man said to D’Almeida.
D’Almeida decided to move away from the area, when another agitator grabbed him by the collar of his jacket and punched him in the back of his head. Soon, he found himself surrounded by more agitators so he ran outside of the zone’s barriers to seek help. He recalled yelling for people to help him get out of the area, but no one did.
Even after D’Almedia escaped CHAZ and alerted Seattle authorities, agitators followed him in a midnight-blue Toyota Camry with all-tinted windows. He said the angry mob wanted him to give up his phone and equipment and report to a “medical tent for interrogation.”
Finally, he was able to be escorted back to his hotel by officers in the Seattle Police Department.
D’Almeida interviewed a number of CHAZ-goers, asking them what their message and purpose was to reside in the zone. All counters were peaceful and individuals were willing to chat with him. D’Almedia live-streamed a majority of the encounters and posted them to both his personal Twitter account and Scriberr’s social media accounts. He said his only intent was to share their message and report what he saw.
Scriberr News stands with the journalists doing crucial work to reveal truths under the umbrella of fact-based and fair reporting amid the country’s social and medical turmoils. We as a company, and a movement of nonpartisan-citizen journalists, condemn the violence of any kind toward reporters, videographers, and other media members. We encourage reporters to accurately depict events and to never cease pursuit of the truth.
D’Almeida will release exclusive footage about what led up to the attack on Scriberr. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for updates @scriberrnews